New Life for Lincoln, While the Town Car Dies *UPDATED

2010 Lincoln MKT Ecoboost

*UPDATE: We are learning some new details about Lincoln’s plans for the livery edition of the MKT. The chassis will be “bolstered” to permit stretch limos to be built, and all-wheel drive will be an option (standard on the stretch). Interiors will be bigger and better than the Town Car, with cute gizmos and more cargo space. Ford has been talking to owners, operators, drivers and passengers to find out how to improve upon the Town Car. MKT livery editions should surface in the first quarter of 2012.

We keep banging on Lincolns for their terrible looks, but in fact, as I just realized, the company hasn’t made good-looking cars since the days of the Continentals. The MKT crossover is no exception. This barge, shown above, is likely going to replace the aging but adored Town Car for livery service to Wall Streeters, celebs, and assorted poseurs in New York City.

These people have never been known for their sense of style anyway, so they might well take to the MKT, which is really a decent car with many tech-y features. It just looks like it was designed by a team of baboons working at CAD terminals.

That said, Ford is finally getting smart with Lincoln, aiming to move it into a notch below Mercedes and upper-range Audis, as we reported here. If the company can sell New Yorkers on the MKT (it’s being tested now by livery fleets), it will have found a nice niche to replace the 8,000 or so Town Cars now in service.

The MKT will be modified to include wi-fi (so you can enter sell orders from its capacious back seat) and all-wheel drive (to tackle the potholes). The car has gotten good reviews and has decent fuel economy, ride, and performance. Like its smaller, better-looking brother, the MKX, the MKT has gobs of technology to keep you from concentrating on driving. If you’re being chauffeured, so much the better.

Here’s one of Ford’s new commercials, featuring John Slattery, which nicely conveys the aura without providing much content. Still, it’s a good pitch.

If you compare 2011 prices and invoices of the MKX and MKT, you’ll see that there’s lots of padding here, which will finally please Lincoln dealers, who haven’t had much to run with for a long time. They now will have a case to make against the competition, plus some good cars to sell. Looks, someone once said, aren’t everything.

If you’re not convinced, you’ll probably be able to pick up nice used Town Cars (using the CarGurus’ DealFinder, of course) for a good while.

Will the new MKTs make a hit with New Yorkers?

—jgoods

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4 Comments

  1. Looks like we won’t be buying any Lincolns at least for 2011. If’s I’m going to spend as much as an upper end Audi or lower end Mercedes, look as good as the cool technology.

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